The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
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Laptops would help with typing skills. The problem always seemed to be the poor wireless connections.
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In the News: More opposition to Duncan's reform policies; defending Obama's education agenda
The growing ranks of opposition to Arne Duncan’s education policies can count a new member: Communities for Excellent Public Schools, a nationwide coalition that launched this week.
The growing ranks of opposition to Arne Duncan’s education policies can
count a new member: Communities for Excellent Public Schools, a
nationwide coalition that launched this week.
The group also issued a report, "Our Communities Left Behind: An Analysis of the Administration's School Turnaround Policies," listing schools eligible for turnaround strategies under the federal School Improvement Grants program. A news release from the group called the turnarounds "top-down experiments that disrupt schools and communities."
"You have to give resources to support students and families, and build trust in schools. If you don’t have that, none of your other reforms matter," says Bridget Murphy of Logan Square Neighborhood Organization.
Local member groups will hold a press conference this morning at Mollison Elementary to kick off their efforts. They include Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Action Now.
"(This is) exciting because the top-down approach to education reform has been very well-organized, very well-funded, and very media-savvy in getting their message out," Murphy says. "With CEPS, you see a serious organized grassroots effort to provide a counter-narrative." (Rebecca Harris, Catalyst)
The Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday passed a new Student Code of Conduct, making cyber-bullying as serious an offense as burglary, aggravated assault, gang activity, drug use or more traditional forms of bullying. (Sun-Times)
WBEZ has posted unfiltered audio of Chicago Board of Education's regular monthly meeting from Wednesday, July 28.
In the nation
The Center for American Progress Action Fund and the National Center on Time & Learning issued a statement Wednesday applauding the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, or Labor HHS, on fiscal year 2011 appropriations bill that supports extended learning time by boosting funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan defended the Obama administration's education reform agenda in a speech before the National Urban League Wednesday. Last week the Urban League joined several other civil rights groups in calling for Duncan to reverse course on Race to the Top, charter schools, and turnaround models for low-performing schools. (Education Week)
During his speech, Duncan also said his department would push for policies promoting equity in the schools for poor and minority students, in particular announcing plans for an Equity and Excellence Commission to promote fiscal equity among schools. The department will publish next week a notice in the Federal Register asking for nominations for the commission. (Education Week)
The New York Times reported on the the considerable cost of turning around a Los Angeles high school: an estimated $15 million over four years, or more than twice the $6 million in federal turnaround money that the Department of Education has set as a cap for any single school.